MRR Interview with Brian Presley from Touchback
Brian Presley, star of the new film Touchback, gave Movie Room Reviews a ring yesterday to talk about his new inspirational film with Kurt Russell, Melanie Lynskey, and Christine Lahti. Brian tells us about playing the role of a down and out ex-football player named Scott Murphy who gets a second chance at life.
MRR- Hey Brian, we’re here to talk about your new movie Touchback that comes out April 13th. In the film you play Scott Murphy, an ex-football player who’s career was ruined by an injury. As his life goes on he can’t seem to cope with it and he is lucky enough to be able to travel back and get a second chance at his dreams. Why did you take on this role and what about it appealed to you?
Brian- Right when I read the script I feel like I Identified with this project. I grew up in Oklahoma and played high school football where we won a state championship and I was the quarterback. I set out into the world of Hollywood and there’s been some times in my life I had some pretty low points and you ask yourself why? How did I get to this place? Today some of those low points can also be some of the great peaking points. It’s easy to lose sight of what’s really important in life. You get caught up in whether it be chasing dreams, work, making ends meets, and all kinds of things but that’s life. Stuff can way on us and sometimes it’s those low points that have allowed us to step back and look. I am thankful for what I do have and for me it’s that I have two kids and a family. Those are the important things and it’s important to stop and smell the roses along the way. That’s what drew me to it it. The story of the movie is whether you play the sport or not, you can relate to it. Especially people who are 30 and up who have had a chance to get out in the world and kind of look back at their life a little bit and I think that even if your in high school or your early 20's you can still understand what the message of the movie is.
MRR- The movies message is pretty clear to me. It seems to say that if you could go back and fix things in your past you may end up losing the greatest things in your life.
Brian- Yeah, I think you could go back and say “If I would have gone in this direction things would be great,” but there are gonna be storms in life regardless what path you choose. Life’s gonna throw us stuff that is unexpected. Life’s gonna throw us good and bad and it’s how you deal with those and how you face those. Having a support system, having family and friends and taking time to enjoy the good times. It’s a message that I think both male and female can relate to. Excepting where your at today and excepting the way your life unfolded and being content with that.
MRR- Speaking of the good times, I bet it was pretty fun to go back and play football again like in high school.
Brian- That was a blast. It was so much fun to put the pads back on. After two days into it I realized I wasn’t 18 anymore and got some aches and pains but it was awesome. We really wanted to make the football stuff in the movie authentic and I did a lot of the stunts. We had over 600 people tryout for the football team and we had a lot of fun.
MRR- It looks like the film is going to be very nostalgic for me. I live in Ohio, I am from Ohio and I see the some of the film was shot just north on lake Michigan.
Brian- We shot most of the exterior stuff just north of Columbus. We also shot a chunk of the movie up in Michigan.
MRR- Seeing you in an Ohio State Football jersey was funny because that’s all I see around here.
Brian- Ha, that’s awesome!
MRR- Don’t you feel like if you were Scott Murphy you’d go back and just place a few bets and not really worry about the football game?
Brian- That’s funny because I’ve talked to several people who’ve said that the message of the movie should be if he changes the situation everybody in his life wont be there and he’ll kind of be going alone and going about his life without those people. Hopefully people will enjoy the ride and what I’ve heard from a lot of people is that it takes you back to high school and those times in your life.
MRR- You also were the producer on the film right?
Brian- Yes my company, Freedom Films
MRR- You’ve produced several other films and you’re currently producing “Thunder Run”
Brian- Yeah so the next film is thunder run with Gerard Butler, Sam Worthington, and Matthew McConaughey. We’ve got a few slated projects we are doing. All movies that have a true story or a powerful message behind it. “Thunder Run” is a story about the first brigade that stormed Bagdad. We had less than a thousand soldiers on the ground when we seized the city of 5 million people. Most people don’t know that. I think is pretty amazing because a lot of people think we just blew in there and that it was a cakewalk, but that wasn’t necessarily the case.
MRR- When can we look forward to seeing “Thunder Run” on the screen?
Brian- That’ll be out in a few years. We are just now starting it.
MRR- You’ve worked on several films that have had a great cast members Samuel Jackson, Jessica Biel, 50 Cent in “Home of the Brave”. Ed Harris in “Once Fallen.” How was it working with Kurt, Melanie and Christine on Touchback and how did you guys get along on the set?
Brian- Yeah. Kurt was awesome, he and I really hit it off and he came in and elevated every bodies game. Christine was a sweetheart. It was just one of the things. Everybody jelled, personalities jelled and it just worked.
MRR- I feel like Kurt’s presence would be very intimidating on the set. I couldn’t imagine trying to act out a scene with him.
Brian- Yeah Kurt has that presence but he’s such a likeable guy that you immediately fall back into it with him and it was a lot of fun.
MRR- Well thanks a lot Brian that was great and I really appreciate you talking with me.
Brian- I appreciate you taking the time and I hope you enjoy the movie. It opens April 13th so go support it opening weekend so that Hollywood keeps making these kinds of films.